I am often asked what I am doing for Lent. Not one to "give up" something, I do enjoy entering into it for a more focused study of Christ's journey toward the cross and resurrection. I will make three recommendations this year. Two are the same as last year. One is new.
For the past several years, Brian and I have used this book for our morning devotions during the forty days before Easter: Jesus, Keep me Near the Cross a collection of writings from a variety of authors edited by Nancy Guthrie. Timothy Keller, Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, Alistair Begg, Francis Schaeffer and Joni Eareckson Tada are included in this compilation. Brian especially enjoys the variety of writers from classic to contemporary, each with strengths and wording unique to their place in time and writing style.
40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole has become my favorite Lenten devotional. Every day Chole invites us to prepare our hearts for Easter by featuring "a devotional based upon Jesus' life, guidance for reflection, suggested (and occasionally surprising) daily fasts, an inspiring quote for prayerful meditation , an optional and somewhat academic sidebar chronicling the historical development, practices and images of Lent, and a suggested Scripture reading with journaling space." She packs a lot into each chapter. I enjoy the challenge and new information she offers.
My new read this year is Jesus Journey by Trent Sheppard. This book focuses on the humanity of Jesus, the Word who became flesh, and enables us to look at him in a new way. At the end of each chapter we are invited to Ponder, Pray and Practice on the topic of the day, giving us opportunity to think, write and act in a more thoughtful way as we consider what we have just read.
Lent starts Wednesday. Have you picked something to do for this special time of year? Do you have a unique practice that helps you set these days called Lent apart from common ordinary days? Do you have suggestions for us? Please leave us your ideas in the comments!